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Here is the latest Florida news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. EDT

Here is the latest Florida news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. EDT
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 12:43 AM CDT
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — As Florida enters the height of summer tourist season, the state’s largest cities and counties have halted business re-openings, closed beaches and mandated masks, hoping the measures will slow the blooming coronavirus outbreak. But a University of Florida epidemiologist warns that things are likely to get worse before they get better. Dr. Cindy Prins says Florida is likely to see an increase in cases in the short term, even though cities are now mandating masks and social distancing measures. She says Florida is unfortunately "a couple of weeks late to the game of really being able to get this under control.”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is addressing sea level rise, iguanas, pythons and algae in a number of new Florida laws.  A bill he signed Tuesday attempts to rein in the blue-green algae blooms that have hurt tourism and wildlife. The day before he signed a bill requiring public coastal construction projects to first be reviewed for impacts on the state’s fragile seashore because of rising sea levels. He also signed bills allowing the state to use drones to hunt invasive pythons and to ban the breeding, trading, sale and possession of iguanas.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Girls under the age of 18 will have to get a parent’s permission before having an abortion under a bill signed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis chose to sign the abortion bill with no fanfare and out of the public eye on Tuesday. DeSantis asked lawmakers to send him the bill during his State of the State speech that kicked off the legislative session in January. The bill was passed in February, but the legislative leaders didn’t send it to DeSantis until this month.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors say a white Florida police officer is facing a battery charge for allegedly shoving a kneeling Black woman to the ground during a protest march last month. Broward State Attorney Mike Satz said Fort Lauderdale officer 29-year-old Steven Pohorence was seen “intentionally touching or striking” the 19-year-old woman during a civil rights protest march on May 31. The charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Pohorence was previously suspended by the Fort Lauderdale police chief. It wasn’t immediately clear Tuesday if Pohorence has a lawyer to speak for him.

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